***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about 5 moons away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Bhutan, which is yet to qualify for a World Cup.
Champions on the last day of the 2002 World Cup
Nickname: Dragon Boys
FIFA Ranking: 186 (June 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Failed to advance from first round (AFC), losing to Guam 5-1 on aggregate
On the final day of the 2002 World Cup on June 30th, 2002, two teams braced themselves for the battle that would decide which nation was truly the champion of world (out of the world’s lowest two ranked sides, Bhutan and Montserrat).
Coming into the final played on the last day of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Japan/South Korea, both teams were poised to claim their first ever victory in a final played on the last day of a World Cup. Both teams were hopeful, however preparations for both the 202nd ranked Bhutan and the 203rd ranked Montserrat were harried and chaotic, with both sides losing their coaches just days prior to the Final (Montserrat’s resigned while Bhutan’s suddenly passed away). But with the game due to be played on their home turf, with their home support and only days prior having taken the ball off a pair of Monsterrat players during a visit to a local Bhutanese school, things looked promising for the Yellow Dragons.
Despite 62% of people in a national survey in Montserrat saying that Montserrat would win the final, it was the Emerald Boys that were left distraught as Bhutan crushed them 4-0. From kickoff, the Dragon Boys dominated, opening the scoring with a strike in the first half, to the euphoria of the home fans. Would they go on and reach the Nirvana of a victory in a friendly against the world’s worst team?
You betcha! The Dragon Boys would add 3 more goals in the second half (including a hat-trick–Bhutan’s first ever–scored by Wangay Dorji), handing Bhutan them the trophy of the Final played on the last day of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Japan/South Korea played before 69,029 fans in Yokohama’s International Stadium. Bhutan, despite, I don’t know, like some of the odds, had officially taken the crown on the final day of the 2002 FIFA World Cup (of Not Being The World’s Worst Nation) and were officially the champions (of the world’s two worst countries).
In a final where there was no loser, with both teams sharing a split trophy and celebrating post-match by singing Monserrat’s own Arrow’s hit Hot Hot Hot, of the two sides, it was Bhutan who finished the final feelin’ a little more Hot Hot Hot. 4 more goals hot hot hot, to be precise.
Since then, the glory days have continued for Bhutan, with the team defeating Sri Lanka in their first ever World Cup qualifier in 2015 (subsequently winning the tie aswell) and it even Guam 1-0 in the first leg of the first round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup (losing 5-1 on aggregate), but nothing will ever surpass the glory that Bhutan achieved on the final day of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
One to watch: The country’s ruthless pursuit of happiness
Helping each other, simplicity and attachment to nature are the key elements of Bhutan’s single-minded pursuit of happiness. Putting the blinkers on and shirking the tantalising temptations of Gross Domestic Product, Bhutan’s government has committed itself to investment in free education and healthcare, in an ironfisted attempt to make sure its people are happy, at all costs.
This pursuit is brutal and relentless, as can be witnessed in this music video:
As well as here, more evidence of the country’s savage hunt for happiness:
But as is strikingly evident in the video below, the chase has been fruitless, with there being clear momentary lapses in happiness, like when 26-year-old Grace calls people who use mechanical farming equipment lazy, or before her night out with the girls where she laments the fact that she can only afford one beer. Happiness, hey? I DON’T THINK SO!
The Highpoint: Defeating Sri Lanka in its first attempt at World Cup Qualification, 2018
Hopes were low for Bhutan in 2015 as they headed into their first ever World Cup qualification campaign, against Sri Lanka in the first round. But in the first leg in Colombo, they pulled off a stunner, defeating the home team 1-0, heading into the return leg not only with the advantage in the ledger, but also with a valuable away goal under the belt.
For the 2nd leg in Thimphu, the government declared a half-day holiday, the gates to the Changmilitang Stadium were opened 4 hours prior to kickoff and the by kick-off it was packed. Hope had now turned to tense expectation and it was vindicated in the end as the Bhutanese did it! They defeated Sri Lanka in their first ever attempt at World Cup qualifying! They did it! Wow. Ya wouldn’t believe it–the Bhutan national team had gone all the way out of the first round of World Cup qualifying (Asia confederation).
Then they got smeared, losing all 8 games in the next round, ending with a -47 goal difference. As the ever-present dogs that seem to be a fixture of every Bhutan home games would say, Woof.
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
What’s the point? Winning the Final on the last day of the 2002 FIFA World Cup has ruined all future games for Bhutan